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Archive for January, 2017

Simple writing challenge: Write about y/our America. Here’s mine. Post yours in the comments.

 

This is NOT your America.

For those of you who think you’re taking America back, this is not your America.

For those of you who think you’re going to make America great again, this is not your America.

For those of you who don’t understand why “Black Lives Matter” needs to be said, this is not your America.

For those of you who want to build up a wall and close off the doors that your ancestors once came through, this is not your America.

For those of you who want to ban brown people whom you think are terrorists from the countries where you get your oil, this is not your America.

America is for people who uphold the founding of this country–who acknowledge that that founding was tied into a genocide, who want to make right all the wrongs, who want liberty and justice for all, not just for White Christian anti-women’s rights bigots.

America is for people who believe that beyond their nationality, there is a bigger purpose called humanity–and an equality within that realm.

America is for people who believe that human rights are human rights, period, no conditions, ands, ors, or buts.

America is for the compassionate. America is for those who help others because that is the right thing to do and not just because their Bible tells them so.

The America that you want–the one fraught with bigotry and hate and exclusion and separation–that America is going away. That America is going to be extinct. That America is obsolete and dead. That America is NEVER going to be great again.

I echo words that people have said to me in response to my protests and words of resistance and opposition: If you don’t like my America, why don’t you just leave?

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“49th Parallel, Partly Cloudy, 43 Degrees”

I never thought I’d see the day in real life

when my husband and I had to look up civil rights

advocates’ numbers and write them on our arms

with brand-new black Sharpies,

and we would have to create tags for our child in case she got lost,

even though the mere thought stops me from breathing,

then I remember I must breathe again.

Those are the kinds of things people do in dystopian novels,

not in real life,

going to join a woman’s march hopefully peacefully,

though how can we be really sure?

My daughter will remember the time we protested against the Bad Man,

and she knows his name, Trump,

and she says his name, Trump,

and she screams how he’s a bad man, thumbs down, Trump.

When I was her age, bad men and monsters were fake.

When we become adults, we realize, if we care enough to,

that bad men and monsters are real,

that God might not be real,

that God is probably fake.

Because why, why would a benevolent/non-violent God do all this?

So now we prepare for a drive that would normally be just another one

back to the country from which we all came and crossed,

we prepare with numbers, stats, identity cards,

to prove we are American, no matter what metric you use.

When we get to the border and the agent asks us if we are bringing weapons, we will tell them honestly, no.

But I am coming armed with this poem,

my freedom, and my right.

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